By Tadzio Garcia
The topic of the civil rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender population is ever current just as it is ever relentlessly under open attack. It’s still socially acceptable to denounce LGBTs.
It takes a measure of courage to stand up for LGBTs, that is, their right to be themselves without fear of danger.
The United Nations has not convinced its membership of its Universal Declaration of Human Rights to include the LGBT community.
One of the advantages of living in a market economy is the great variety of items we can pick and choose from. It’s one kind of liberty and freedom. Since we are the home of the free and the brave, we naturally extend that feeling as the right and proper way to live our lives.
Cultural choice is not necessarily a given. However, freedom of choice – we’re proud of it.
In this case, it’s not the freedom to choose how one can express their most basic being, but the freedom to pick and choose reasons to base one’s prejudice on. Religious law or spiritual tradition offers us that common source.
Unfortunately, biblically speaking, not everyone obeys the same spiritual tradition or even any spiritual tradition; and the Bible, in any case, is full of moral laws which, if followed by the letter, would make same sex love more of a distraction than a major focus on the path to piety.
For example, while Leviticus 18:22 fuels inordinate societal hate, one could just as easily point to Deuteronomy 22:13-21 — a strict and stringent guide to marriage that sanctions killing a bride who fails to prove a virgin.
In our land of liberty, we can choose to legislate hate or choose to welcome diversity.
We can pick-and-choose biblical verses to suit our aims or we can seek to find common ground and create a civil community where people are free to practice their spiritual traditions – or not – and free to reach their greatest personal potential in their pursuit of happiness.
It’s not surprising that a cloud of fear and misconceptions surrounds this matter. Mainstream sources of news reflect the society’s reluctance to accept LGBTs as anything but an uncomfortable, even vaguely unpatriotic expression and certainly out of regular people.
In June 2000, then President Bill Clinton issued Proclamation No. 7316 declaring June Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. On June 1, 2009, President Obama issued Proclamation No. 8387 as declaring June as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
Well, you may ask, where’s Non-LGBT Pride Month? The answer is, of course, every month is Non-LGBT Pride Month.
Based on local news coverage, you would never know that among the largest ongoing festivals in the world are the Pride festivals celebrated mostly during the month of June in countless cities on every continent except Antarctica.
Some people even risk life and limb to show themselves in places where same sex relationships can carry the threat of a heavy jail sentence or even death.
Such is what the month of June represents to our civil society. Celebrating civility, courage and bravery. In the U.S.A., at least, you can choose to not follow your hate or adversity but diversity.